Interviews, Videos

Interviews, Videos

The stars and director of ‘Murder On The Orient Express’ share details on their characters, the mystery at the heart of the film, and the challenges (and delights) or working with a huge stellar ensemble.

Interviews, Movies, Murder on the Orient Express, Videos

Interviews, Movies, Murder on the Orient Express, Videos

Interviews

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – Daisy Ridley played a big part in relaunching the Star Wars franchise with 2015’s The Force Awakens and then reprised her role of Rey in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi. With those experiences under her belt, one might assume that portraying governess Mary Debenham in the actress’ third major project, director Kenneth Branagh’s period thriller Murder on the Orient Express (out Nov. 22), would have held few fears. Wrong!

“I remember finishing my first-ever film [and thinking], ‘Oh my God, this is so great, how could this ever be topped?’” she says. “And then I did my second film, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is so great, how could this ever be topped?’ And then Murder was kind of my first foray into non-spacey films. I was petrified. And we just had the best time. Truly the best time. It was the most wonderful group of people. I felt overwhelmingly lucky to be there and to be able to work with Ken and all the other actors. It was just glorious.”

Ridley’s costars include Branagh — who plays novelist Agatha Christie’s famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot — Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, Willem Dafoe, Penélope Cruz, Dame Judi Dench, and Olivia Colman. So, who was the actress most starstruck to meet?

“When I first met Ken, I was super nervous, because I was auditioning,” she says. “It was this whole thing of auditioning and meeting him. But when I met Judi and Olivia, they’re like aspirational for me. It’s not starstruck: ‘Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.’ That’s what I what I want to be. With Olivia, to get a few years down the line and be even a patch on what she is, I would be so happy. And with Judi, it’s kind of an extension of that. And with those two working together, it was the most f—ing amazing combination.”

Interviews, Magazine Scans

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – All aboard! And we mean all aboard!

It is no exaggeration to say that a goodly portion of planet Earth’s most famous residents have gathered today at Longcross Studios outside London to shoot a scene set at Stamboul (now Istanbul) train station for director Sir Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (out Nov. 22). Branagh, who also plays Christie’s famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, is present and properly dressed in 1930s-era attire. So too are Star Wars heroine Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Dafoe, Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr., and British acting royalty Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi. But wait, there’s more. In one corner of the soundstage, Josh Gad and Olivia Colman (Broadchurch) are discussing the Police Academy franchise; Penélope Cruz is gliding past the re-creation of a vintage train talking on her phone in Spanish; and Johnny Depp is ruminating to your reporter about the likelihood of his character’s long brown coat being made out of leather. “I’m feeling like it’s fake,” he says — incorrectly, as the film’s Oscar-winning costume designer, Alexandra Byrne (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), will later attest. However the most eye-catching sight is not a person but a thing: the fake mustache sported by Branagh. The item is so extravagantly outsize it almost seems more alien face-hugger than facial fuzz. “When I saw it I was like, Holy moly!” says Ridley. “But this is a larger-than-life story, so why not make the mustache larger, too?”

Poirot is always well-groomed, whether on the page or the screen. The Belgian’s care over his appearance reflects an obsessively meticulous nature, which enables him to investigate the most complex and horrific of crimes, including the brutal attack at the center of Murder on the Orient Express. First published in 1934, and inspired by Christie’s journeys on the real-life luxury locomotive which then ran between Istanbul and Paris, the book finds Poirot investigating a fatal stabbing. With the Orient Express marooned in a snowdrift and the murderer trapped on the train, Poirot interrogates a dozen or so suspects before gathering them together to hear him solve the case. The book’s large number of supporting characters allowed Branagh to cast stars keen to take roles that were chunkier than cameos but did not demand too much of their time. Even so, putting together a schedule capable of catering to the collective calendars of Depp, Pfeiffer, Cruz, et al. was no easy feat. “It was a ton of planning, I’ll tell you,” the director concedes. “A delicate web of availability.”

Murder on the Orient Express may squeeze about as many famous folks as is physically possible into a single movie. But the cover story on Branagh’s film is just the start of starry shenanigans you’ll find in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly. Elsewhere, Ridley Scott looks back on his career; Zoe Saldana looks forward to making four Avatar sequels; and Tituss Burgess looks at life through the bottom of a wine glass as EW writer Bill Keith spends a very happy hour with the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star. Plus!!! To commemorate Mother’s Day, John Waters, and Kathleen Turner recall the making of comedy classic Serial Mom.

Interviews, Videos

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Appearances, Interviews, Videos

Last night (February 12), Daisy attended the EE British Academy Film Awards and presented the Special Visual Effects award with Luke Evans. She wore a Roland Mouret “Baldersby” floral-embroidered gown. Head over to our gallery to find many high quality pictures from the event!


GALLERY LINKS
Public Appearances > 2017 > EE British Academy Film Awards
Public Appearances > 2017 > EE British Academy Film Awards – Backstage
Public Appearances > 2017 > EE British Academy Film Awards – Show
Public Appearances > 2017 > EE British Academy Film Awards – Press Room


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Interviews

SCREEN DAILY“It’s a really fucking scary time to be alive,” comments Star Wars’ leading lady Daisy Ridley about the first days of Donald Trump being president of the US. The actress recently attended the anti-Trump women’s march in London, calling it “an incredible show of democracy”.

Ridley is deeply passionate about tales of female empowerment; from her breakthrough role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens to the her latest film, the Bafta-nominated documentary The Eagle Huntress, which she narrates and exec produced.

Screen sat down with Ridley to discuss the doc, which is the story of a 13-year-old girl in Mongolia who is attempting to become the first female eagle hunter in her country. She also updated on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, talked having to audition for Murder On The Orient Express, and had her say on Piers Morgan’s recent spat with Ewan McGregor.

Screen: How did you get involved in The Eagle Huntress?
Daisy Ridley: Morgan Spurlock came on as a producer after Otto [Bell, director] had done the initial shoot. He got in touch with my agent and said he wanted me to watch it. I watched it, was blown away and said I’d love to be involved somehow. I came on as exec producer and then – Otto initially had title cards in it but wanted to narrate it for younger kids – so I then narrated it too.

What did being executive producer involve?
I mean it’s a glorified spokesperson. I am taking credit for something I really haven’t had much to do with. It has been my pleasure, basically, to spread the news.

Do you see yourself using your star power in the future to help out smaller films like this?
When I came on, I wasn’t like ‘Hey, let ME make this a big thing’. It would have done amazingly with or without my help. I don’t plan. If something else came along that touched me in the same way and I could be involved in it, then great.

What did you love about the film?
It was mainly the relationship between Aisholpan [the film’s subject] and her father. The world we’re living in is terrifying and [it’s great] to watch something that for an hour and a half takes you out of yourself and shows you something about somewhere that none of us really knows. It’s incredible how everything is so divisive at the moment – what colour your skin is, what religion you are – and to watch a film that’s set in the back end of Mongolia, that made me think: ‘oh my God, her dad reminds me of my dad’.

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Interviews, Videos